Looking for Meaning in All the Wrong Places: Country Music and the Politics of Identity* Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 by the Southwestern Social Science Association Objective: This study argues that country music can be viewed in terms of identity politics that seeks to define an American identity. Methods: A textual analysis of country music songs is used to illustrate the various components of this American identity associated with the U.S. South and West. Results: Six key dimensions of the country music American identity are identified-–the goodness of the common man, family values, patriotism, race, religion, and nostalgia. Dissenting views on several themes are also illustrated. Conclusion: U.S. country music can be viewed as the symbolic politics version of redistributive politics that defines values to be accepted and cherished as well as values to be denigrated and shunned.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Meier, K. J.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • February 2019